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    Vassar College
  Dec 10, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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MATH 132 - Mathematics and Narrative

1 unit(s)
To most, mathematics and narrative live in opposition-narrative is ubiquitous while mathematics is perceived as inscrutably esoteric and obscure. In fact, narrative is a fundamental part of mathematics. Mathematical proofs, problems and solutions, textbooks, and journal articles tell some sort of story. Conversely, many literary works (Arcadia, Proof, and Uncle Petros and the Goldbach Conjecture) use mathematics as an integral part of their narrative. Movie and television narratives such as Good Will Hunting and Numb3rs are also mathematically based. Nonfiction works about mathematics and mathematical biographies like Chaos, Fermat’s Enigma, and A Beautiful Mind provide further examples of the connection between mathematics and narrative. We use this course to explore this connection by reading and writing a variety of mathematical narratives. 

Open only to freshmen; satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

Not offered in 2017/18.

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